Celebrating communities for Catholic Schools Week

January 23, 2024 in Featured News, News

Jesuit schools celebrate Catholic Schools Week (CSW) from 21 January to 27 January 2024. This year’s theme is ‘Catholic Schools: Communities of Service’.

The week is an all-Ireland annual event, which invites Catholic schools to give expression in a special way to the ethos of Catholic education. This year the focus on service in communities of friendship, schools, family and faith, a theme for each day of the week.

Staff at Belvedere College SJ, Clongowes Wood College SJ and Gonzaga College SJ have been reflecting on the event in light of their Jesuit identity.

Clongowes Wood SJ

Elisabeth Anna Clarke, Director of Ethos in Clongowes College SJ, said the following about Community traditions and celebrations for the week and year ahead:

During Catholic Schools Week, first year students will travel to the Curragh to form a human cross with hundreds of other students from around Kildare. We have the St Brigid Peace Ambassadors joining us to lead morning prayer and present to Transition Year. Second years will be on their retreat this week. We also use this week to commence our sacramental Confirmation with Alpha with 25 Confirmadi and seven student faith leaders.

“At Clongowes we have a strong emphasis on living and sharing our Catholic identity day-by-day throughout the school year with our daily Mass in the Ignatian Chapel, whole school morning prayer in the Concourse, weekly Jesuit Examens for each Line (three per week overall) and our Sunday Mass at 11 am for the school and wider community.”

“In addition to that we put an added focus of prayer and service during Advent and Lent with a night service of reconciliation followed by an offering for all students to receive the Sacrament of reconciliation the following day. A highlight during Lent is the Tenebrae, this year taking place on March 10 at 9pm.”

“The first round of the SCT rugby between Belvedere College SJ and Clongowes Wood College SJ will be the highlight of the week for our students!”.

Gonzaga College SJ

Kiara Desmond, Director of Ignatian Formation & Services in Gonzaga College notes:

“To celebrate the start of Catholic Schools Week Fr. Provinical Shane Daly SJ celebrated Mass in the college chapel. Our Ember group (set up in January 2022 to promote the faith life and Jesuit ethos of the school) were joined by students from Mount Anville and the Teresian school for this Mass at which the school choir sang. A great start to Catholic schools’ week.”.

“On Thursday the grandparents and family members of our first years will join us from a special Mass and tour of the college this will be followed by a social gathering.”.

Belvedere College SJ

Pádraig Swan, Director of Faith and Service Programmes in Belvedere College, reports the following:

“We will be launching videos of staff and students explaining what it means for them to be part of a Catholic school this week. We have a number of events planned for Catholic Schools Week this year. The Father Provincial Shane Daly SJ will be saying mass on Friday 26 January at 8.00am followed by a school assembly with our charity partners linking with the theme of CSW ‘ communities of service’. The charities will talk about the money raised at Christmas campaigns including the record breaking SleepOut 24, Temple Street and South Sudan fundraisers will also be addressed.”.